In January, a total of 4.1 million international tourists visited Spain, 65.8% more than in the same month of 2022. The main source market was the United Kingdom, with an increase of 103.6%, followed by Franceand Germany. The total expenditure made by foreign visitors reached 5,218 million euros, 71.7% more, according to Frontur statistics. and Egatur published this Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
Almost 18% of visitors, a total of 742,212, came from the United Kingdom. France contributed 485,116 travelers, 39.6% more, and Germany, 478,258, 69.6% more. Among the rest of the countries, the growth of tourists from the United States (102.8%), Italy (78.6%) and Ireland (66.1%) stands out.
By autonomous communities, the Canary Islands, in the middle of the high season -which coincides with winter-, was the main destination, with 29% of the total. It received 1.2 million visitors, 58.5% more. Next was Catalonia, with 19.2%, a total of 798.33 foreign travelers, 71.6% more. In third place stood Andalusia, with 571,873 and an annual increase of 76.8%.
In addition, the Community of Madrid registered an increase of 113.1%, the Valencian Community, 71%, and the Balearic Islands, 54.5%.
Spain, a wonderful place, both for holidays and to live.
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The 10 castles in the province of Alicante that you have to visit.
The province of Alicante is not only known for its unbeatable climate, its beaches and its gastronomy, but also for the large number of castles and defensive constructions that it houses throughout its territory. In this article you can find ten of the most impressive castles in the province of Alicante. We invite you to make this route where you can, in addition to escaping the routine, know these the wonderful villages that surround these castles.
Castle of the Watchtower (Villena)
One of the most impressive castles in the entire Valencian Community. The Castillo de la Atalaya, also known as Castillo de los Pies Negros or Castillo de Villena, and which stands on top of the hill of San Cristóbal, was built in the twelfth century by the Arabs at the time of the Almohad dynasty when the caliph Yúsuf al-Mansur decided to build a series of defensive castles to try to stop the Christian troops. The Arabs were able to defend the castle until James I of Aragon reconquered it in 1240. The border situation of the castle contributed to it having a strategic role throughout its history. In 1931 the castle was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument and an Asset of Cultural Interest.
Castle of Banyeres de Mariola
It rises to a height of 830 meters. It is an exponent of Islamic culture. It is a fortress of great dimensions and although it has been rebuilt in its entirety, there are still remains of its primitive construction. The different enclosures bring us closer to past times and their ways of life. It consists of a polygonal plant with double walled enclosure in which the Tower of Homage stands out, from the Almohad period (XII – XIII century) built using the rammed earth technique (lime, sand, water and small stones).
Castillo Fortaleza de Santa Pola
The Castle-Fortress was built in 1557, within the project of defense of the coasts of the Kingdom of Valencia, as protection and defense of sailors and their families, against attacks by pirates and corsairs, a frequent fact on our coasts, especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It cost 23,000 ducats which were paid for by the Duke of Maqueda. It is a building built in stone, square with two towers and two bastions at its angles, "the bastion of the king" and "the bastion of the duke", typical of Renaissance military art. Inside the wall were the homes of the soldiers, open to the interior of the enclosure, where the Patio de Armas is located.
Castle of Santa Bárbara (Alicante)
It is the great emblem of the capital of Alicante. It is located on Mount Benacantil, a rocky mass of 166 m. altitude bordering the sea, which gave it an enormous strategic value since from it you can see the entire bay of Alicante and its surroundings, from Santa Pola to Benidorm and with the island of Tabarca as a backdrop on the horizon. The image of the mountain from the beach resembles a face, so it is called "the face of the Moor" and is an icon of the city of Alicante.
Castillo San Jose – El Castell de Guadalest
Fortress of the eleventh century, created by the Muslims, is located on the rock in the highest part of the municipality. It had a very important role throughout the Middle and Modern Ages, thanks to its strategic location. The earthquakes of 1644 and 1748 and the blowing it suffered in 1708 in the War of Succession were to blame for its destruction. In 2015, after passing a series of audits, the municipality of Guadalest is part of "The Most Beautiful Villages in Spain" and in 2016 it enters the Federation of the Most Beautiful Villages in the World.
The Castle of Biar dates from the twelfth century. Located on a hill overlooking the town of Biar, it is included in the route of the castles of Vinalopó and is one of the great attractions of the municipality. The Castle of Biar is listed as an Asset of Cultural Interest and declared a Historic-Artistic Monument belonging to the National Artistic Treasure. As a border town, Biar played a prominent role in the Christian conquest of the ancient kingdom of Valencia. It was one of the squares that most resisted when Don Jaime I of Aragon tried to conquer it.
The castle is the most emblematic monument of the town of Petrer. Its silhouette crowns the hill where the historic center is and visually controls much of the Vinalopó valley. The Muslim inhabitants of the town of Bitrir, Arabic name of Petrer, were the ones who built the fortress, back in the late twelfth century, and just fifty years later they must surrender to the advance of the Castilian and Aragonese troops, forming part of the Kingdom of Valencia from the fourteenth century. The castle has two enclosures: the upper or citadel, where the free-standing tower is, the noble room and the dungeon; and the lower or esplanade, where there was a neighborhood defended by the rammed earth wall. This wall keeps one last and pleasant surprise: the cave houses, a peculiar habitat of the early twentieth century where the neighbors built their homes chopping the wall.
One of the main, and best preserved, fortifications in the province of Alicante; which in turn is part of the Heritage Site of Castell de Castalla. The castle, declared BIC with the category of Monument, has three parts that allow us to know the evolution of the fortification (built in the eleventh century by the Muslims and deeply renovated in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries by the Christians); as well as those who were the first settlers of the hill on which the castle sits today (occupied since the II millennium BC). These parts are: the Palau, which is accessed through an intricate defensive system; the Pati d'Armes with its canvases of wall, rooms and the cistern in very good original condition; and the Torre Grossa, from which spectacular views of the Foia de Castalla and the mountains that surround it are contemplated.
Castle of Denia
It is one of the elements that defines the historical topography of the urban center of Denia. On its slopes have been discovered remains of dwellings and fortifications of the Roman Dianium. Its design dates back to Islamic times, between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Since then, different reforms are reflected in its architecture. We highlight those of the Almohad period, the construction of the Red Tower and the Torre del Consell in the S. XV, the bastions and other Renaissance-style defensive systems, as well as the rebuilding of the Governor's Palace, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, under the auspices of the Duke of Lerma, Marquis of Dénia. The destruction of the Palace and the Vila Vella during the War of Succession and the abandonment of the military square in 1859 define the last centuries. At present El Castillo is configured as an emblematic heritage site. At the top of the enclosure you can visit the Archaeological Museum of the city.
Castle of Sax
The castle of Sax rises at 524 meters above sea level on a steep cliff that dominates Sax and dominates much of the Vinalopó valley between Elda and Villena. It is one of the most majestic fortresses in the province built on a large rock; It was built in the tenth century by the Muslims and the knights of the